The Grand Circuit has announced its full and expanded stakes schedule for the 2013 racing season.
Earlier this month, at the USTA full Board meeting at Harness Congress VI, Grand Circuit president John Campbell announced that all Open stakes raced in North America not previously considered as Grand Circuit would now carry that designation beginning with the 2013 season.
Many of the most valuable and sought after stakes not previously on the Grand Circuit roster will now join the "Circuit” and be included in the brand. Several racetracks that had not previously been member tracks and a few that had lapsed have agreed to join and consider their non-state restricted stakes as GC races. Those tracks include Yonkers Raceway, Northfield Park, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Hazel Park, Red Shores Racetrack and Casino and Dover Downs. All tracks that race open stakes now considered as Grand Circuit races either are currently or have agreed to be member tracks.
"Many of the sport's top races had not previously been considered as Grand Circuit events. Now, with that distinction we hope to help create better awareness of our top races and provide the tracks with a more promotable product,” Campbell stated.
The 2013 Grand Circuit schedule will kick into full gear the weekend of March 22-23 when Yonkers Raceway hosts the first legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for older pacing mares and the George Morton Levy for older pacing horses.
The Grand Circuit has been in existence since 1871, when representatives from three racetracks in different states met to create a racing circuit. The first campaign for the Grand Circuit took place in 1873, when four tracks offered $169,300 in purses. From those humble beginnings, the Grand Circuit has blossomed into a yearly showcase of the finest harness horses competing in North America, with purses now totaling many millions of dollars at racetracks and fairs in many areas of the continent.
The complete 2013 schedule for the Grand Circuit can be found at the following link. (Grand Circuit)